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Acto da Primavera (1963)

Local people of Curalha, a small village, keep a tradition of representing the Passion of Jesus, since and according to a 16th text.

Director:

Manoel de Oliveira

Writers:

Francisco Vaz De Guimarães (novel), Manoel de Oliveira (scenario)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Nicolau Nunes Da Silva Nicolau Nunes Da Silva ... Cristo
Ermelinda Pires Ermelinda Pires ... Nossa Senhora / Christ's
Maria Madalena Maria Madalena ... Madalena
Amélia Chaves Amélia Chaves ... Verónica
Luis De Sousa Luis De Sousa ... Acusador / Prosecutor
Francisco Luís Francisco Luís ... Pilatos
Renato Palhares Renato Palhares ... Caifas
Germano Carneiro Germano Carneiro ... Judas
José Fonseca José Fonseca ... Espião / Spy
Justiniano Alves Justiniano Alves ... Herodes
João Miranda João Miranda ... S. Pedro
João Luís João Luís ... S. João
Manuel Criado del Val Manuel Criado del Val ... Diabo / Devil
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Storyline

Local people of Curalha, a small village, keep a tradition of representing the Passion of Jesus, since and according to a 16th text.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Portugal

Language:

Portuguese

Release Date:

2 October 1963 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

Akt wiosny See more »

Filming Locations:

Curalha, Chaves, Portugal

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Olhar o Cinema Português: 1896-2006 (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Moving passion play

The film shows a recreation of an "Auto", an ancient passion play (the passion refers to Christ's arrest and execution), produced by Portugese villagers and re-run for Portugese director Manoel de Oliveira's cameras. Manoel is, incredibly, still making films well over a century since he was born.

The film is shot entirely in the open air. It includes shots of the film crew shooting, and idle passers-by come to watch. The film's gives us three time-lines, the time of Christ's death, the world of Francisco Vaz De Guimaraes, the 16th writer of the play, and the year the film was shot. I think it's probably the best attempt at transparency a filmmaker can make.

I heard that this film required the occasional suspension of disbelief and so I had a couple of drinks before the showing at the London Film Festival to mellow out during the viewing. I guess it worked because I didn't find anything ridiculous. Indeed I can't think of anything less pretentious than these Portugese villagers performing their play. I think it presents faith in an extremely palatable way, and is at times deeply moving. Although essentially a documentary, de Oliveira occasionally brings in some nifty camera-work and the occasional special effect. The sheer simplicity of the villagers speaks volumes, and reminds me of Mark Chapter 10 verse 15 "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it".

Aside from the faith aspects, the film is very beautiful and captures a lovely quality of light, of a late Mediterranean afternoon. Not wanting to spoil the ending, I shall just say it was magnificent and lovely.


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